Sandia And Los Alamos National Labs Face Off To Save Lives During World Blood Day Drives

Los Alamos National Laboratory employee John Parchman proudly donating blood at the friendly competition between LANL and Sandia National Laboratories. Photo Courtesy LANL

Los Alamos employee Martin Ward smiles as he gives blood that will help other New Mexicans in need. Photo courtesy LANL


Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory faced off last month in a friendly battle to see who could bring in the most blood donations to mark World Blood Day and help the community.

The competition turned out to be a neck-and-neck situation with the winner being decided by a single unit of blood. Over two days in June, 124 Sandia employees donated 145 units of blood while 121 Los Alamos employees donated 146 pints.

“Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratory donors stepped up to this challenge and provided a tremendous amount of life-saving blood for our community,” said Heidi Chase and Drew Sharpless, Vitalant account managers for Los Alamos and Sandia. “Vitalant greatly appreciates the overwhelming and ongoing support of our mission of saving lives through the gift of blood donation. Ultimately, the real winners are the hospital patients in New Mexico who will benefit from their generous gift.”

Altogether, labs employees donated 291 units of blood, potentially impacting 689 patients in New Mexico. Additionally, Los Alamos had 38 first-time donors, while Sandia had 32.

“We’re stronger together,” said Kayla Norris, Los Alamos community relations specialist. “When both labs come together for a common purpose, we’re able to make a significant impact.”

While disappointed Sandia fell short by one unit, Community Involvement Manager Amy Tapia offered her congratulations to Los Alamos and praised all those who organized and took part in the event.

“Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs truly collaborated for our community during this fun competition. We are proud of our employees rising to the challenge to meet the critical need for blood donations.”

Tapia then offered a challenge for a rematch next year, which Los Alamos happily accepted.

While the two labs put their efforts into overdrive in June, Sandia holds regular blood drives as a way to support the community. During bimonthly drives in 2022, more than a thousand Sandia employees donated 1,220 units of blood, which could potentially impact 2,360 lives.

Sandia employee Andrew Harvey uses a squeezable cow to help blood flow during June 27 blood drive at Sandia National Laboratories. Photo by Craig Fritz